About Panniculectomy

An alternative form to a tummy tuck would be a Panniculectomy, which is a surgical procedure intended to remove only excess fat and skin. The main difference between an abdominoplasty at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic and Panniculectomy is that a Panniculectomy does not tighten the abdominal muscles.

Panniculectomy translates to ‘Pannus Removal’. The word “Pannus” or “Panniculus” is the bulk of hanging tissue that is removed during the procedure, which is mostly comprised of fat and stretched skin.

About Panniculectomy
Panniculectomy Candidacy


There are varying degrees of a pannus, where it can fall to just to the bikini line or be as severe as falling to the level of the knees. This degree is usually based on the amount of weight loss that one has undergone. Thus, most candidates are those who have lost a tremendous amount of weight either with just diet and exercise, or through gastric banding or gastric bypass. Women who have been through pregnancy, may also be a candidate, but usually they are better suited for an abdominoplasty at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic.

When the pannus is severely large, it is also referred to as an apron of tissue. This apron can cause many functional problems to a patient's life, such as back pain, rashes and even infections and ulcers in the skin folds. It can also interfere with personal hygiene, mobility, how ones clothes fit and it can cause one to have a great deal of self conscious towards their body. and Thus, a Panniculectomy is intended to correct functional issues and as a result will have improved aesthetic outcome as well. With that being said, it is usually covered by health insurance.

To be a candidate, one must be at a stable weight for over a year and must also wait one year if they have undergone a gastric bypass surgery. They must have realistic expectations, be generally healthy overall, and have a plan after surgery to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits.

Grading of a Pannus

The pannus after removal can weigh as little as 5lbs or be over 100lbs. There are 5 different degrees that a pannus will be classified as:

Grade 1: pannus hangs at the level of the mons pubis
Grade 2: pannus covers the full pubic area
Grade 3: pannus falls to the upper thigh
Grade 4: pannus reaches to the mid-thigh
Grade 5: pannus extends to the knees

Grading of a Pannus
Panniculectomy Procedure

The Procedure

Performed much like the abdominoplasty at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic, the surgery is performed under general anesthesia and can take about 2-5 hours. If other procedures are performed at the same time, the length will be longer.

An incision will be made from hipbone to hipbone. The hanging skin and excess fat will be excised and the tissues that remain will be gently sutured together. Depending on the grade of the pannus, some other incisions may also be needed (such as a vertical incision), and the belly button may or may not be relocated. Drains are usually placed to the sides of the incisions and are left in for about one week.

Liposuction can be performed in conjunction with a Panniculectomy if needed and if a patient has a hernia, this can be corrected as well during surgery.


Usually recovery is not as long when compared to a tummy tuck as the underlying muscles are not treated. Therefore there are less risks and complications involved. However this can depend again on how large the pannus was. A severely large pannus removal will obviously bring about increased risks to complications. Common risks include, but are not limited to infection, seroma, hematoma, necrosis, and deep venous thrombosis.

The outcome will present a flatter midsection with less bulk, however remember the main purpose of the procedure is to eradicate the apron of tissues to alleviate health issues associated with its presence. Thus there will not be as of a great cosmetic outcome when compared directly to an abdominoplasty. Nonetheless though there will still be a great aesthetic improvement compared to before surgery.

The results can be life changing as you will notice a huge result in your physique.

Just like a Tummy Tuck procedure involves an horizontal incision, you will be left with a scar as well, but there are many ways to reduce its appearance.

Panniculectomy Results

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